For every job profile that is posted, recruiters receive dozens, even hundreds of resumes.
The sheer number of applicants makes it impossible for them to spend a lot of time analyzing your resume. In fact, a study has discovered that, on average, hiring managers spend just about six seconds to screen your resume in the initial stage.
It is, therefore, obvious that only crisp, unique, and eloquent resumes make it through primary assessment.
f you often find yourself wondering why how you can stand out, take a second look at your resume to understand how you can increase your chances of fetching a job interview by refining your resume.
Here Are 10 Ways Through Which You Can Make Your Resume Stand Out Among the Rest
1. Create a Header
One of the best ways to make your resume stand out is by creating an eye-catching but concise header.
Strategically placed on the top of your resume, the header contains your personal as well as professional information. Not only does that help the recruiter understand what your professional goals are but it also lends your profile some visual appeal.
Here are some pointers you must keep in mind while creating a header for your resume:
- Use formal spacing and font size.
- Write the name of your designation, not the function.
- Provide only one contact number and one email address.
- Give your current address.
- Refrain from writing the word ‘resume’ or ‘curriculum vitae’.
Remember, first impressions are long-lasting. Since the header is the first thing a potential employer will notice in your resume, make sure it leaves an impact.
2. Modify Your Resume as per the Job
When it comes to job searching, one size does not fit all. In other words, you must edit and modify your resume in accordance with the job you are applying for.
You do not have to be a resume wizard to do so. To tailor your resume, start by paying attention to the job profile, job description, and company profile. Then, highlight the keywords, skills, and experience and update relevant information in your resume.
The intention behind this is to make the resume recruiter-friendly and subtly highlight your expertise – without having to create a new resume every time. Modifying your resume also gives you a chance to proof-read and edit your resume, avoiding those pesky spelling or grammatical mistakes.
3. Add a QR Code to Your Resume
Surprised? Don’t be.
We all need that X factor to get noticed, right?
And a Quick Response (QR) code can serve the exact purpose by letting recruiters take a quick look at your work online. It is very easy to use a dynamic QR Code generator, and using them with resumes is a new trend in the job market, helping candidates redirect recruiters to their online portfolios.
QR Codes also allow hiring managers to quickly view LinkedIn profiles or social media handles without having to type it in manually.
In fact, designers who work with 3D models can use Augmented Reality QR Codes to show their prospective employers their past creations.
You can use QR codes in your resume to share the following information with the recruiter:
- Your sample as well as published work – videos, articles, or pictures.
- Direct links to your blog, website or other online portals.
- Testimonials from previous colleagues or clients.
- Social media channels.
What’s more, the usage of QR codes in your resume earns you brownie points for being tech-savvy.
4. Highlight Your Skills
When recruiters screen profiles, they are also on the lookout for interpersonal skills apart from technical skills.
Thus, the skills section forms a crucial part of your resume. Apart from listing down your skills, training, and experience, this section also helps the recruiter analyze whether you are a suitable match for the role without having to read the entire resume.
To decide which skills to include, first read the job description, explore the company and its core values and note down the skills the recruiter is looking for.
Then, list the important abilities that you feel could get you that second round of interviews.
Here are some tips to help you create an effective skills section:
- List your skills in bullet points.
- Instead of writing wordy phrases, go for specifics.
- Divide your skills into subsections, such as communication, creative and analytical.
5. Emphasize Awards and Recognition
The job market has become quite dynamic, and recruiters prefer individuals with diverse skill sets.
To make your resume and profile appear distinctive, highlight the awards and recognition you have earned. However, keep in mind to include only relevant information that has enriched your personality, helped you learn new skills or added value to your employment history.
For example, if you are applying for a managerial position, you could mention accolades such as ‘Best Team Player’ but listing an award you won in school does not make sense in a professional resume. You can also include the dates of these achievements to help the recruiter probe the relevancy and frequency of your achievements.
6. Incorporate Keywords From the Job Posting
Keywords are, essentially, words or phrases that a recruiter looks for in your resume.
These keywords could be skills, qualities, credentials, abilities, or a cumulative mixture of them all. By including keywords in your resume or additionally in your cover letter, you increase your chances of getting noticed. Take a thorough look at the original job posting and jot down the keywords.
Then, use these keywords subtly throughout your resume. If you are not sure how to determine the keywords, watch out for words/phrases used in the job requirements section, such as skills and competencies.
While most keywords vary as per the role and competency, there are a few styles of keywords that can be used in all applications:
- Skill related keywords: analyzed, planned, designed.
- Results-oriented keywords: increased, redesigned, implemented.
- Recognition keywords: awarded, promoted, selected.
The added benefit of using keywords prominently is that if the recruiters are using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to filter resumes, your resume will make it to the next round.
7. Create a Visually Appealing Format
Global attention spans are shrinking, and the same goes for recruiters as well. Since most resumes have a similar format, you could make yours appear unique by using a visually appealing format.
Once you’ve gathered and streamlined the information that you intend to add to your resume, shift your focus on creating an engaging format. Try using different styles, fonts, columns, infographics, etc. to create a unique resume.
You can easily find sophisticated resume templates online on Canva or choose from the ones available in Google Docs as well. You could also use aesthetically suitable colours to draw the recruiter’s attention; try not to be too artsy, though (unless you’re applying for a design position).
8. Keep It Crisp and Precise
If Elon Musk’s resume can fit on one page, so can yours!
Remember, your resume is simply a medium to deliver only the most relevant information so that the hiring manager can consider your application for a role.
To find out which information to remove, read your resume multiple times – but from a recruiter’s perspective. Eliminate any information that is not relevant to the job you are applying for. Also, do not forget to correct any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or ambiguity you spot.
Once you have created the final draft, you could ask your friends and family for feedback on how to make it more focused.
Here are five easy ways to create a crisp resume:
- List only pertinent contact information.
- Keep sentences short but meaningful.
- Use bullet points or chronological order wherever possible.
- Use headings and subheadings.
9. Quantitative and Qualitative Information
Ideally, your resume should have a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative information concerning your education, job profile, and other accomplishments.
Too many numbers or too many adjectives could confuse the recruiter before they have had a chance to consider your application.
Thus, make a conscious effort to balance out the information. Handled late payments worth ‘$5000 USD’, received team player reward for increasing sales by ‘10%’, and availed a grant of ‘$50000 USD’ – all these are an example of quantitative information.
On the other hand, ‘organized’ the library, ‘interacted’ with the global client base, ‘maintained’ cordial relations with the vendors are examples of qualitative accomplishments.
10. Use the Reverse Chronological Order
The reverse chronological resume format means listing your employment history, starting with the most recent one, and then going backwards. The same goes for your educational qualification.
The reverse-chronological resumes show dates, as well as the names of the employers and educational institutions. A majority of recruiters prefer this format because it helps analyze the work history of the candidate. The recruiters can take a quick glance at the work history and experience and ascertain the suitability of your candidature. Being one of the most traditional formats, it is suitable for all job profiles and industries.
Whether it’s your very first job or if you’re applying for one after decades of experience, starting a new employment search can be a little intimidating. But you can make the odds work in your favour by creating a stellar resume that leaves a lasting first impression. Although your resume, regardless of its quality, does not guarantee that you will get the job, it can surely help you get one step closer to your dream job.
Apart from following the tricks mentioned above to keep your resume up-to-date, ensure you effectively showcase your education, knowledge, experience, abilities, and capabilities in your resume. Don’t forget, your resume represents you and you must always put your best foot forward.